Whilst a few of us may be able to clean with as much enthusiasm as one of the Stepford Wives, let’s face it - most of us don’t have the time or the energy after a long day to come home and prioritise tidying up. Spending hours of your hard earned time sorting out the clutter at the weekend might not sound so appealing to you either. If you’re struggling to stay on top of a messy household you’re certainly not alone. But, as scientific evidence suggests, keeping things more organised around the home might be better for your health AND happiness.
A study by researchers at Indiana University revealed that those with clean houses are healthier than people with messy ones. Tracking 998 participants, the study showed that those who kept their homes cleanest were healthier and more active than those who didn’t. The study’s director, Nicole Keith, stated: "At the end of the day, the interior of their house seemed to be the only thing affecting their physical activity." Keeping physically active is a key way to improve mood and wellbeing.
Another study using linguistic analysis software to measure the way 60 participants discussed their homes, found that women who described their living spaces as “cluttered” were more likely to be depressed and fatigued than women who described their homes as “restful” and “restorative.” It was also found that women with cluttered homes expressed higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
So why might this be the case?
Well, there is science that shows that having clutter can make it more difficult to focus on a certain task. This is because the visual cortex can become overloaded with task-irrelevant objects, making it harder to concentrate and complete tasks. As well as leading to fatigue this could also increase stress levels.
It’s true that coming home to a fresh and clean environment may elevate your mood and help you to unwind. Breaking a sweat when carrying out tidying, with 20-30 minute bursts of cleaning activity, will also help to release happy-boosting endorphins and improve fitness. Here are some simple cleaning habits to lift your mood and keep your home looking much tidier too:
A clutter-free space for a clutter-free mind
There is a growing trend towards becoming minimalist, that is, owning less and being able to do more. So instead of buying more things to sit inside the house, perhaps you might find that you’ll be happier spending the money on experiences. Enjoying a meal with friends or getting the children to a new sports class might leave you more fulfilled (and keep your house tidier) than buying another pair of shoes or more toys.
You can also help to keep your home a stress-free zone by having a clear out. Go through your wardrobes, drawers, cupboards and storage and give the items you no longer use or need to charity. You may find this de-cluttered space will leave you feeling much more relaxed.
Opening the windows, letting the fresh air in and giving your house a thorough dusting will provide you with a much healthier breathing-space. By reducing levels of bacteria and allergens, cleaning the house could improve your comfort and health to leave you more relaxed.
Don't over-clean, though
Although cleaning may help you to release negative energy and feel happier, stick to the rule of ‘everything in moderation’. Feeling as though you have to keep your house spotless by dusting every day won’t be helpful and could actually increase your levels of stress. A good cleaning session once or twice a week is fine, but don’t worry if there are times when you can’t keep up with the mess.
At Domestique Cleaning here in Hertfordshire, we can help you maintain a clean and relaxing space with one-off cleans or regular cleaning services. Our highly trained staff will ensure that your home is cleaned just the way you want it cleaned, so you have the time to enjoy a tidier and healthier home. To speak to us about a quote, you can call us on 01727 808 710.